« ZurückWeiter »
POLITICAL LIFE OF
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
E D M UND BURK E;
WITH EXTRACTS FROM HIS WRITINGS.
“ Burke, the greatest of political philosophers."
SIR J. MACKINTOSH.
GEORGE CROLY, LL.D.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & SONS, EDINBURGH;
SOME years ago, when the feelings of the people were strongly disturbed by theories of political change, a considerable number of works were issued from the press, with the object of allaying the public excitement. Among the rest the following pages appeared. It was thought, that, in a period singularly resembling that which immediately preceded the French Revolution of 1789, there might be some advantage in laying before the public, in a more succinct and accessible form than in his volumes, the opinions of that extraordinary and powerful mind, which had acted so large a part in saving England and her monarchy from the errors of the French throne, and the crimes of the Republic.
The rank of Burke, as a writer of consummate eloquence, had been decided from the beginning of his career ; the progress of the Revolution placed him in equal eminence as a Statesman; and every year since has added to his renown as a prophet. While the works of this admirable mind are left to us, the country is in possession of a storehouse of political wisdom, from which she cannot supply herself too largely, or too often ; she has a great Oracle, to whose responses she cannot trust with a too solemn reliance ; for the peculiar and pre-eminent character of Burke's genius was its love of reality. With the most palpable powers for reaching the loftiest heights of speculation, he is the least abstract of all speculators. With the poetic fancy which so strongly tempts its possessor to spurn the ground,
“ Among the colours of the rain bow live,
And play in the plighted clouds,” and with an opulence of language that, like the tissues thrown on the road of an oriental prince, covered the wild and the thorny before him